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How is it that we are conscious? Were made of the same stuff as stars right...so is it just the way our atoms are arranged? So is it like a magic incantation...put it all together just right and POOF you have consciousness? Its very strange...It drives me mad thinking about it.
- William (age 16)
Hubbard High School, Hubbard, TX
William- This question is very familiar, since in my 55 years I have
repeatedly taught a course on the relation between physics and
philosophy in which it comes up. Here's how it now looks to me: "It's
very strange...It drives me mad thinking about it."
I personally recommend the book, "Godel, Escher, Bach", by Douglas
Hofsdatder, which talks about machine learning and addresses this
subject in a more or less reductionist fashion. It's fun reading and it
won the Pulitzer prize. It's not the only way to think about things, of
course, but at least it is a pleasant way to go mad for a while.
(republished on 07/18/06)
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